Smile… it’s your birthday!

(My birthday, that is.)
I know you’re all waiting for an update on the cross stitch situation, and I promise I have a post in the pipeline, but for now you’re just going to hve to wait. Today is my birthday, and there shall be no fulfilling of obligations on my birthday, blogging or otherwise!

So, here’s what I ate for tea last night as my last meal in my twenties, because I’m just that fabulous!

You're never too old for a smiley dinner!
You’re never too old for a smiley dinner!

Later, I might post a photo of my birthday presents for you. Or I might not. Right now, Jan is cooking me my special birthday breakfast, then we’re off to Strasbourg for the day… where there will definitely be cake! The French are good at sweet things.


Cocktails and cross dressing

I kind of neglected my blog this weekend… mostly because I was busy, but also because I had nothing much to say. Now that my 30 German Towns Before 30 challenge is over, I don’t have a ready-made filler topic any more! Will have to find something new to post about! (And on a side note, why to I misspell “because” 9 out of 10 times when I type it?!).

Blue alarm clock
Follow the alarm clock… you know you want to! (Photo: Wikipedia)

Anyway… I’m sure you’re all wondering what I did with my last weekend in my 20s… and if you’re not, tough! I’m going to tell you anyway 😉 But before I do, a favour.  My friend is taking part in GISHWHES… which stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, and as part of it her team’s alarm clock Twitter account needs 200 followers. Nope, I have no idea why an alarm clock either! But I’m sure it would help very much if all my lovely bloggy friends could follow the Twitter account: @TeamBrokenAngel. It’s only for a week… and also the whole thing is for charity. Thank you lovelies!!

So… what did I do this weekend? Well, on Friday night my friend came round for tea. We ate homemade burgers and homemade chips, drank wine and chatted about life, the universe and everything.

On Saturday I spent most of the day going round every clothes shop in Karlsruhe in search of hotpants and fishnets, among other things. Do you know how difficult it is to find black hotpants when every shop has already switched to the autumn collection, despite the fact that it’s only August? The answer you’re looking for is very!

That evening, Jan and I headed to somewhere near Bruchsal to watch a friend of ours perform. She had been taking part in a workshop for aspiring choir conductors and the performance was their final concert. Instead of an entire program made up of different songs, they only performed a few songs, but with a different conductor each time so that the audience could hear how different ways of conducting influences the sound of the song. Very cool! On the way home, I remembered that it was my final weekend before turning 30, so Jan suggested going for a cocktail. We went to the same place where I’ll be celebrating my birthday, and Jan was able to speak to the person in charge, so the party is now basically sorted. Woo hoo!

Rocky horror lips!
Rocky Horror lips (Photo: glyn_nelson)

Sunday then marked the official start of my birthday celebrations… and the reason I was on a hunt for fishnets!
Knowing how much I like musicals, Jan had bought us tickets for The Rocky Horror Show! It’s part of my birthday present, but because yesterday was the last day of the current run, it had to be done before my actual birthday. And naturally I had to go in costume… where’s the fun in going to Rocky in normal clothes? We went as a group of six, three of whom were male, and we even managed to persuade the guys to dress in women’s clothing… well, what did you think the title of this post was about? 😉 It was… “interesting” seeing the show performed in German, especially since the songs were still in English! But once I got used to the sudden switches it was quite enjoyable, and all in all, I thought they did a very good job, especially considering it was a small theatre! Because we all went in costume, we each got a small bag of props, which was a new experience for me! Last time I went, the theatre didn’t allow props. Chucking toilet roll around a theatre is a lot of fun, let me tell you! 😀

The last time I saw the Rocky Horror Show, it was the official 30th Anniversary Tour in 2003. This year, in June, the show celebrated its 40th anniversary. I suppose that means I’d better watch it again in ten years for the 50th anniversary show. Traditions must be upheld, after all! 😉

(P.s. If you’re wondering how I’m posting so early on a work day… it’s because for once I have time for a proper lunch break! ;-))

Birthday plans

If you’ve been reading my blog for longer than say a week, you’ll probably have noticed that I have a birthday coming up (and if not, I applaud you on your superior selective reading skills!) As that birthday is, in fact, a week today, I thought it was about time I started figuring out what I want to do. Here’s the plan:

* Obviously I shall be ignoring all healthy eating plans completely. Birthdays do not come with calorie limits! So for breakfast I plan on having a nice fattening sausage sandwich with brown sauce.  I might even shove some bacon in there too. Yum!

* Jan has taken the day off, and he suggested going somewhere. I’m not sure what he has in mind, but wherever we go, I will definitely be tracking down some cake. You can’t have a birthday without cake!

* In the evening I would like to go for a meal somewhere – I don’t do cooking on my birthday! Then I shall ask my friends to join me in the Irish pub for drinks. It’s like a birthday ritual!

*My real celebration will then (hopefully) take place on the Saturday after my birthday…. if Jan actually books the place, that is. If not, I guess the party will be at my place.

So there you have it. Not too bad for a mid-week birthday.

“There are worse things than being a sheep”

… and other search terms.

The Frauenarzt got back to me last night… it seems she made a mistake. Their long days are on Tuesday and THURSDAY, not Tuesday and Friday, so I’ll be off to pick up my pill on Tuesday. Still plenty of time before I need it (yes, today is Thursday, but it’s a holiday here so everything is closed). She also said they have no appointments for Krebsvorsorge (that’s the cancer checks… you can learn German with me!) until July, so I get a whole month to psych myself up. Hurrah!

In the absence of anything else to tell you, here are some of the search terms that have found me in the last 30 days.

Eddie Izzard quotes force majeure

This one is not particularly amusing, but it’s found me three times and I want to address it. Seriously, anonymous searchers? You want quotes from Force Majeure while the world tour is still in progress?! No!! If you couldn’t manage to buy tickets you can wait for the DVD like everyone else!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

“There are worse things than being a sheep”

With quotation marks around it and everything. Somebody really wanted to find this phrase! Yes, indeed there are worse things than being a sheep. You could be a slug!

When Primark really opens in Karlsruhe blog

You mean it’s not really open now? Have I only imagined making purchases there? Oooh, a conspiracy!

What state is my relationship in?

You’re asking Google that? Really? Do you actually expect an answer as well?

What should I have accomplished at 30?

I find it ironic that this landed someone on my blog of all places. Me, who was so convinced I hadn’t achieved anything that I ended up making a whole list of the things I have done purely for reassurance purposes. Personally, there was only one thing I actually wanted to have done before 30, and that was have a baby. Fail! (And yes I could not go and pick up my pill next week and just wait and see what happens, but I can’t bring myself to deceive anyone like that. I want a baby who is wanted by both parents…)

Confuzzled dandelion

Awww, bless. I can just picture it…

OK, that’s all. The others are fairly boring and normal (“No, give me something fun to do” is among the best of the rest). Come on Internet searchers… you’re slacking 😉

Things I HAVE done before 30

to-do-listAs you may have noticed, I am turning 30 this year (and if you haven’t you’re either new to this blog – in which case Hiii! – or you really don’t pay attention to what you read…). Naturally, this means the people I went to school with are also turning 30, and being almost the youngest in my year, this means most of my old classmates get to go through it before me.

Recently, yet another guy I knew in high school turned 30 (no, I’m not American. The majority of Northumberland still has first, middle and high schools).  This was his Facebook status on the big day (grammar corrected by me, because I couldn’t bring myself to sully my blog with things like “iv” instead of “I’ve” and a complete lack of full stops/capital letters!) :

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes people. I’ve had a class day with *name of his wife* being spoilt. I’ve been thinking about life and all the things I’ve done and achieved and I haven’t done too bad. Danced for my country all over the world, won and competed in some of the biggest competitions in the world, acted in Byker Grove lol, appeared at the Palladium in Oliver and Les Miserables with some of the best actors, done the Royal Variety Show etc etc. I’m only saying this as they are things I’m very proud to have done, but in the 30 years I’ve been here my two biggest achievements are 1- marrying the girl of my dreams and 2- being able to raise and be part of my amazing little girl’s life. I’m a very lucky person 🙂

My first reaction on reading all that was sadness. My heart immediately sank and I thought “why is it always other people that get to feel like that? When will it be my turn to get what I want?”. But one of the things I want to do differently as I attempt to make some changes in my life is to finally learn think positively, so I stopped myself in my tracks and tried to look at things differently. OK, I may not have met anyone famous (let alone acted with them!), been in any international competitions (mostly because I’ve never wanted to) or even done the two things he is most happy about, namely married the love of my life and created a child. But that doesn’t mean my years on this planet have been wasted. I’ve just done different things – and I’m sure there are plenty that other people I went to school with would be jealous of. Still unconvinced, I decided to make a concrete list of all the things I will have experienced and achieved by the time I turn 30 in August. And then, because merely writing something down for myself could never be enough, I naturally decided that I also had to blog about my experiences. There’s something about posting things on my blog that makes them feel that much more real to me (and plus it gives me an excuse to go through all my old photos, which is almost like experiencing the things I’ve done all over again).

And now that the explanation of why I’m doing this is a million miles long, I think I’ll put the actual list in a separate blog post. Or possibly even split it into sections and make a series of it. I’ve already started writing my list on paper (I would be finished if new things didn’t keep occurring to me!) and will be transferring it to the blog soon. Watch this space!

Things I can do

Not quite 30 candles
Photo credit: hankword

I recently started reading a book entitled “Turning 30: How to get the life you really want“.

The “You know you’re turning 30 when…” list could almost have been plucked directly from my brain (I say almost because not everything applies… I can’t say I’ve ever felt particularly jealous of anyone’s hanging baskets!), but one thing in particular struck a chord with me:

You come face to face with the realisation that you are but passing through this life…
And if you don’t settle down and have kids soon it might be too late…
And you really ought to be doing something with your life…
And you’re destroying brain cells every time a quick drink turns into a big night out…
And look at that – a full set of non-stick saucepans and you get a milk pan thrown in…

Well, maybe not the last one (I get more excited about plates than saucepans), but you get the idea.

The aim of the book is to get you through what the authors call “The turning 30 blues” by helping you figure out who you are and what you actually want from life. To that end, they include lots of exercises that are supposed to make you think and help you decide what you need to do next.

i can on 19 February 2010 - day 50
Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews

One such exercise is entitled “Uncovering your strengths”. The task is to write a list of things you believe you are good at (they want you to list these under the three headings “Physical/Manual”, “Intellectual” and “Social/Relationships”, but that seems a bit complicated to me!)

Rather than just putting it on paper, I decided to turn my list into a blog post. So, as I approach the big 3-0, here are the things I can do:

  • Cook and bake
  • Make a tasty meal out of very few ingredients without consulting a recipe
  • Translate reasonably well
  • Read fast
  • Remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs
  • Cross stitch
  • Speak German
  • Spell (in English)
  • Sew on a button
  • Remember people’s birthdays
  • Dye my own hair

That’s all I can think of. The next step is to ask other people what they think your strengths are – I’m going to ask Jan when he gets in from work. Then I think I want to find some new things to try (this one is my idea – not the book’s). My list seems rather short to me and I’m sure there must be something else out there I could be good at – I just need to find it!

Six months to go!

29 1/2

My 30th birthday is exactly six months today.

Last year, I thought nothing could be worse than 29. After my 29th birthday, I knew that none of the things I would have liked to have done before 30 was happening. Have a baby? Only if I managed to get pregnant within 3 months of my birthday. Even if we’d decided to try the chances of someone who’s been on the pill for 10 years getting pregnant straight away are fairly low. Get married? Sure, if I was willing to forego the whole being engaged part – and the bit where I get to arrange my dream wedding – and elope or something. 29, as far as I was concerned, was already too late (I know, how stupid, right? No lectures please! But that’s how I felt.). So 30 shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system. After all, by the time the big birthday came around I’d have had a year to get used to the fact that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted. After 29, 30 was going to be a piece of cake (mmm, cake!).

Six months on, it appears I was wrong. I still want to bury my head in the sand and pretend my next birthday is never, ever going to come. I still find myself comparing my life to everyone else’s and wondering what, exactly, I’ll have to show for myself once I hit 30. No kids, no husband, no PhD (just a Master’s, which anyone can get), no amazing career. I don’t even own a house (unlike my younger sister – there I go comparing again!) Okay, I moved to Germany, but I came to be with my boyfriend – a built in support network. And I studied German. Not nearly as impressive as dropping everything to move to South Korea without knowing the language first, or emigrating to Australia alone. In fact, I’ve never even been to either of those places. Most of my travel has been within Europe. For holidays – not real, life changing travel. And I still live close enough to my family to be able to run away back home if necessary. As for a career, while I love my job, dedicating my whole life to a career is the last thing I want!

So, six months away from my 30th birthday, I still have no idea what I want to do and feel like I’ve achieved very little. Please tell me this is just a symptom of reaching that milestone and things do get better?

On the plus side, I’m up to 12 in my list of 30 German Towns Before 30, so the remaining 18 should be achievable. I just need to finally get round to blogging about those I actually have been to…